For an affordable projector, the Anker Prizm II is certainly impressive, with great sound quality and easily customizable settings, but its bulky design won't be suitable for all living rooms.
Great sound quality
Easy to angle projection
Only supports one HDMI input
Image could be brighter
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Anker consistently delivers affordable versions of products that would otherwise cost a lot of money, and it’s made a fair run in the projector game too, with products like the portable Anker Nebula Mars II.
The Anker Prizm II is another projector from the company, but while most Anker’s projectors are small and portable, the Prizm II certainly isn’t – it’s got a large body, and is begging to be installed permanently into your home.
That bulky exterior conceals a few cool features, and while the Prizm II is as affordable as you’d expect for an Anker product, there are some corners that have clearly been cut for that low price.
Price and availability
It's available to buy for $269.99 / £269.99 (roughly AU$400), which is right at the low end of the projector price scale, so you’ll be hard pressed to find a more capable device for a lower price than this.
In comparison, the Anker Nebula Mars II will set you back £469.99 / $499.99 (around AU$850) and the Anker Nebula Capsule II costs $579.99 (about £465 / AU$830), so it’s at the low end of Anker’s projector range, too.
Those two examples are both portable speakers, and while the Prizm II is designed to be left in one place, they give a good indication of the kind of price you can expect to pay for such a device.
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The Anker Prizm II is designed to be placed in one position and left there – that much is clear from its large body, which weighs 2.42kg, so it’s not exactly easily portable.
The dimensions of the projector are 280 x 265 x 97mm, so again, it takes up a lot of space, and that made it a little hard to find a perfect place to put the projector; it definitely becomes a prominent feature of whichever table or shelf you put it on.
This is one disadvantage of buying a large projector like this, but if you’re looking at the Prizm II, it’s likely you’ve got the perfect shelf or table space already scoped out. If not, you may be better off looking at one of the best portable projectors instead.
There’s a retractable stand that you can slide out of the body of the Prizm II, that lets you angle the projector a little higher if you’re putting it on a low table. Traditionally, this would result in a skewed image, but thanks to the Keystone correction software built into the Anker Prizm II, the image is digitally adjusted before it reaches the projection lens.
Aesthetically, the Prizm II is a good-looking device – it’s subtle and black, so it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb in most living rooms like the original Prizm does, and the fabric top casing makes it look less like an angular box and more like some kind of post-modern piece of furniture.
On the back of the box you’re getting one HDMI input and one USB port (as well as the power and audio out jacks), but since most devices now use HDMI, it’s likely you’re only going to be able to have one thing plugged in at once. We plugged in a PlayStation 4, but if you regularly use a variety of devices or consoles, you’re going to find yourself plugging things out and in quite a bit.
That’s going to be even more of a problem for you if you opt to suspend the Prizm II from the ceiling – which is an option, as you can opt to flip the projected display around to all sorts of angles in the settings menu.
Keystone correction is also present, which is a useful feature for projectors. In short, it corrects display distortion when you project at an angle, and in the Prizm II there’s barely any lost quality when you do this, so it’s a very useful tool for people who can’t put their projector directly in front of the surface they're watching on.
Along with the Prizm II projector, you get a small remote that you can use to change the volume, input, and settings. We only used this to change the volume, as there’s not much changing between HDMI and USB inputs when the former is far superior.
The performance is really the make-or-break feature for something like a projector, and thankfully we were impressed by the quality of the projection.
You’re getting 1080p quality from the Anker Prizm II, which is decent for the majority of people, who haven’t made the step up to 4K yet. This is 1080p if the projector is 3m from the surface too, so if you can place it closer, it looks even better.
Particularly impressive was the sound quality – the Prizm II has two 5W speakers, that make your TV shows, films, and games sound detailed and powerful. The dual speakers enhance gaming and movie experiences alike, and we actually started using the projector instead of our normal speaker at times – that’s how great the sound was.
While the Prizm II projector has more LEDs than the original Prizm, and displayed images that were brighter, we still felt at times the image could be even brighter, especially when we watched content with our living room lights on. Like having your windows open as you watch? Good luck seeing your content.
We’d recommend finding the best low-light environment you can if you purchase this projector, either by beaming at a wall that’s fairly well hidden from daylight, or by mainly using the Prizm II at night.
In terms of screen size, you get 10 inches for every foot (roughly 30cm) the Prizm II is from the wall: if you’re placing it around a metre and a half from the wall, like we did, that’s a 50-inch screen, which is very useful for watching films or playing games.
In fact, according to Anker’s instruction manual you can place the Prizm between 1m and 3m from the wall, so at its furthest distance, that’s a whopping 100-inch screen you’ve created.
The Anker Prizm II might not be the smallest projector in the world – in fact, it’s something of a tank – but the power it’s packing under the hood make it more than worthwhile as your new TV alternative.
Video quality is great, and the seriously impressive sound quality seals the deal too. While the Prizm II’s trouble in well-lit contexts is a little irritating, and it would be great to have multiple HDMI inputs, neither issue is a dealbreaker.
However the true clincher is the low price tag, so if you’re on the market for a great home projector that doesn’t break the bank, the Anker Prizm II may be the right projector for you.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.